Outcomes and Challenges of a Cooperative and Intercultural Learning Project: A Critical Analysis

  • Anya DiekmannEmail author
  • Martin Vincent
  • Jyotsna Patwardhan
Part of the Perspectives on Asian Tourism book series (PAT)


Tourism per se is about interactions and relationships with other cultures. Service quality perceptions vary from one culture to another, and cross-cultural host-tourist interactions shape experiences on both sides and inform the development of emerging markets and products. Encountering another culture through social interaction can contribute significantly to cross-cultural understanding and the development of adapted tourism provision. India and Belgium are historically not countries with close ties. However, India is attempting to increase the number of international visitors to the country, and Belgium aims to attract more Indian visitors. In that context, two universities, one from Mumbai in India and the other from Brussels in Belgium, decided to collaborate and develop a joint project aimed at fostering cross-cultural exchanges between their tourism management students. The aim was to sensitise future tourism practitioners, reduce cultural stereotypes and develop adapted, sustainable and responsible tourism products. The programme was initiated in 2014. It consisted of a joint course focussed on profiling the partner universities as well as the development of specifically adapted itineraries. The course was based on direct virtual interactions between the students on a regular basis for a 4-month period. During that time, students interacted through a simulation in which they played, alternately, the roles of tourists and hosts. This chapter will look critically into this joint course experience over recent years. After highlighting the tourism context, the contents of the course and its implementation will be analysed. The learning outcomes and the key challenges of intercultural learning projects are tackled.


Tourism education Experiential learning Intercultural education Belgium India 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anya Diekmann
    • 1
    Email author
  • Martin Vincent
    • 2
  • Jyotsna Patwardhan
    • 3
  1. 1.Research Centre LIToTeS (Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire, Tourisme, Territoires, Sociétés)Université Libre de BruxellesBruxellesBelgium
  2. 2.LIToTeSUniversité Libre de BruxellesBruxellesBelgium
  3. 3.Garware Institute of Career Education and DevelopmentUniversity of MumbaiMumbaiIndia

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